Chad Bravender, General Manager, Larry Miller Honda
May 2014 Autobytel Dealer of the Month
We'd like to congratulate Chad Bravender, General Manager of Larry Miller Honda for being named Autobytel's Dealer of the Month for May 2014.
The Autobytel Dealer Awards Program honors exceptional dealers from a competitive field of thousands of automotive retailers who employ the highest standards in customer service, Internet automotive retail sales and lead management processes.
We recently spoke with Chad about the importance of response times, process, and accountability, and how these factors have been a critical part in driving his store's success as the number one Honda dealer in Idaho.
Tell us about yourself and your store. What is your official title, what brands do you sell and what are your primary markets?
My name is Chad Bravender and I'm the General Manager of Larry Miller Honda in Boise, Idaho. We sell new and pre-owned Hondas and we're the number one Honda store in Idaho. We serve customers in southern Idaho, a bit of Twin Falls, Boise, and the suburbs of Boise. I have been with the Larry Miller Group for 15 years. We have 54 stores and operate out of 6 western states.
How long have you been an Autobytel dealer and what do you think are the primary benefits of being on the Autobytel program?
Larry Miller Honda has been with the Autobytel program for quite a while now. The leads are good. We know they come from a good source, and we like that Autobytel captures all of the important information - address, phone number, email - which is nice.
What do you think makes you so successful at meeting the needs of today's Internet consumers? Please share a few of your best practices in terms of managing Internet leads.
For us, it's all about process and accountability, and response times are critical. Having the right people to do it is also important! My Internet Manager has been here for a year as well, and we have 6 - 7 reps who also handle leads. We make sure our staff services our customers properly, and we closely monitor how every lead is handled.
What are your thoughts about being named an Autobytel Dealer of the Month?
It's an honor to be named the Autobytel Dealer of the Month. We track performance to make sure our customers are taken care of, and we make sure we have as high a close rate as possible, so it's nice to be noticed for the great work we're doing.
What are some tips or advice you would give other retailers when it comes to effectively managing Internet customers?
Response time is really important. Also, pay attention to the details of the leads, monitor the leads, watch what comes in, and make sure customer questions are answered properly and that they're getting all the right info.
What are your general thoughts about the auto industry right now? How are sales? Any interesting things happening at Larry Miller Honda or with the brand that you'd like to share?
It's a great time to be in the auto industry. Sales are great and we continue to beat sales over the previous year. We are currently building a new store here, so we'll be able to serve more consumers and accommodate more inventory. It opens mid-late next year. Honda is also coming out with new models, which is exciting. Hondas are always reliable, they have a great product, and it's good to be involved with selling this brand.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself...what do you like to do in your free time? Any hobbies or interests of note?
I like to do anything to stay active. I play a lot of softball, and pretty much anything that takes me outside. I am originally from Boise.
Each month, Autobytel's sales and dealer operations teams evaluate prospective candidates from a competitive field of thousands of automotive retailers in the Autobytel network, with a monthly finalist selected based on key online automotive best practices, including conversion rates, lead management processes, customer service principles, customer and brand retention analytics and Internet department practices, among others.